Education Seminar

2015 CFO Conference
Early-Bird Pricing Extended Through Friday, March 20

Irvine Marriott

Complimentary Pre-conference Workshop From Our Strategic Partner – Equias Alliance
On Wednesday, April 1, Equias Alliance in partnership with Blanchard Consulting and Crowe Horwath, will host a free pre-conference workshop at Crowe Horwath’s office in Costa Mesa on Executive and Director Compensation Trends and Best Practices and Compensation Plan Financing Options for those individuals who have registered for the CFO Conference. For more information or to register, please download the Pre-Conference Information Guide on the right-hand-side of this page under Resources

A recent survey of Fortune 1000 CFOs found that the vast majority – 81% – felt they worked at companies that viewed their finance operation as a “strategic business partner,” involving the CFO in top-level decision-making as never before.

As the role of the CFO has grown over the years, so too has the skill set needed to succeed in that role. This year’s CFO conference is built around strategic planning and how the CFO’s role is intertwined with: 

  • Capital Injection
  • Executive Compensation
  • Executive Leadership Development
  • Interest Rate Fluctuations in 2015 and Beyond
  • Managing Interest Rate Risk with Hedging Strategies
  • Whole-system Strategy Development

The constant change in the community bank environment requires CFOs to regularly call on every bit of their expertise.  


The session will run from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 2. Breakfast will begin at 7:45 a.m. and lunch at 12:00 p.m.

8:00 – Registration

8:20 - Welcome and Introductions

8:30 - Market-Driven Strategy or Obsolescence – It’s Our Choice
John E. Oliver, President, Laurel Management Systems, Inc
In the financial services sector there has been a tendency to plan tactically and financially rather than strategically. This has been combined with an unwillingness to challenge our own biases about the relevance of our business model and, as individual institutions, to question our underlying value propositions from the point of view of our marketplace rather than our own internal perspective. No business model in the world will be successful in the long term if it is not meeting some need or desire in its marketplace.

This session will explore the ongoing crisis of diminishing relevance for traditional financial services providers and why that crisis creates a compelling need for more professional strategy development. It will compare genuine strategic thinking to the typical financial and business planning that we usually undertake and go on examine the whole-system planning methodology as the most effective means of developing relevant market-driven strategy to ensure ongoing viability.

9:25 - The Five Levels of Leadership
Rick VanDermyden,Leadership & Personal Development Trainer with The John Maxwell Company
“Everything rises and falls on LEADERSHIP.”  Your bottom line depends on the effectiveness of your leaders. So, what’s the best way to increase the effectiveness of your leaders?

The Solution: The Five Levels of Leadership is a blueprint for developing a leadership culture.

  • Level 1 – Positional; people follow you because of your position
  • Level 2- Relational; Develop a people oriented leadership style. Strike a balance between care and candor
  • Level 3- Is the production level, cast a vision, and lay out a strategic plan to achieve the vision, measurable goals, strengths and skills
  • Level 4- is the people development level; recruiting, positioning, developing, and measuring
  • Level 5- The pinnacle level of leadership

10:20 - Networking Break

10:35 - Alignment of Executive Compensation with Your Strategic Plan
Eric Johnsen, Executive Benefits and BOLI consultant, Equias Alliance & Mike Blanchard, CEO, Blanchard Consulting Group
The landscape surrounding total compensation practices in community banking has changed. The economic climate, increased regulation, public perception and shareholder activists have all had an impact on today’s banking compensation environment. The ultimate result of these changes – some by necessity, some by choice and others by regulatory force – has yet to be fully determined. The one certainty is there will continue to be change.

Highlights and Learning Objectives:

  • Trends in Executive Compensation: Status of annual cash incentives, long-term retention incentives and executive benefits overall.
  • Performance-Based Compensation Strategies for Community Banks: Discover the keys to having an effective and motivating annual cash incentive plan and what banks are using in respect to equity-based/longer-term incentives and deferred compensation.
  • Executive & Director Non-Qualified Benefits and Bank-Owned Life Insurance: Learn about the various types of executive benefits and how BOLI can be used to help your bank deal with the changing executive benefit environment. 

11:30 - Taking Control of Interest Rate Risk with Hedging Strategies:  Adding Derivatives to the “Tool Kit”
David J. Sweeney, Managing Director, Chatham Financial & 
Benjamin M. Lewis, Director, Business Development, Financial Institutions, Chatham Financial

More than six years after the drop to nearly 0%, bankers continue to prepare for the inevitable tightening of short-term interest rates. While some liability-sensitive banks have benefitted from a “wait-and-see” approach, now may be the time to add swaps or caps to the toolkit. We will discuss the mechanics, costs and benefits of basic interest rate hedging products, including a strategy that provides significant savings compared with traditional match-funding techniques.  The session will highlight how frequently misunderstood hedge accounting standards can be applied in a straightforward way when the “Path of Least Accounting Resistance (“POLAR”) is followed. 

12:20 - Lunch

1:20 - New Policymaker, New Fed Policy
Dr. Jim Cunningham, Associate Professor of Clinical Finance and Business Economics at the Marshall School at University of Southern California 
A review of what has happened to the American economy in recent years: a housing bubble, a financial crisis, the Great Recession, and a stagnant recovery. Lack of investment, as shown by trillions of excess reserves in the banks, is due to discretionary monetary policy and reduced incentives to hire and supply labor. A hopeful sign is the commitment to a new, rules-based monetary policy by Federal reserve Chair Janet Yellen.

2:15 - Networking Break

2:30 - The Future of Community Banking
Joshua S. Siegel, Managing Partner and CEO, StoneCastle Partners, LLC Chairman and CEO, StoneCastle Financial Corp.
Consolidation is continuing to occur, but what are the effects of 10,000 banks becoming 5,000? How can bankers extract value and successfully manage their enterprise in this cycle? Joshua Siegel, CEO of StoneCastle, will detail key shifting paradigms including technology usage, succession planning, and capital management including how each relates to the underway consolidation wave. 

3:25 – Yield Is an Opinion, Cash Flow Is a Fact
Ryan Hayhurst, Managing Director, The Baker Group
Growth in bank investment portfolios traditionally happens in periods of excess liquidity like we’ve experienced for the last seven years. Historically this has been when the economy is weak, loan demand has waned, and interest rates are low. To achieve an additional return for our shareholders, we typically invest in higher yielding securities with negative convexity characteristics like Mortgage Backed Securities, CMO’s, or Callable Agencies. To enhance our portfolio performance we regularly invest in negatively convex instruments in which cash flow decreases when rates rise and increases when rates fall. In this section we will identify specific security selections that will provide a balance between extension and contraction risk, which provides us rate sensitivity through consistent cash flows.

  • Best of Both Worlds – Extension Risk Protection and Call Protection with Low Loan Balance MBS
  • Certainty of Cash Flow – Short WAM MBS Fit the Bill
  • GNMA MBS – Prepays from Buyouts and HPI (Home Price Increases)
  • Structured CMOs – Buy the Curve with Limited Extension

4:20 - Concluding Remarks

4:30 - Adjourn


John E. Oliver
President, Laurel Management Systems, Inc
John’s career in the financial services industry spans over forty years, working both in Europe and the United States. For the past eighteen years he has built a thriving consulting practice with focus on whole-system strategy development in the sector.

He is responsible for the design and implementation of his company’s highly regarded market-driven FIplanner strategy development process for community banks that are genuinely prepared to question their business model and its future relevance. His consulting services and training programs are utilized by institutions of all sizes and types, from small community-based organizations to major multi-national institutions. 

David J. Sweeney
Managing Director, Chatham Financial
Dave Sweeney leads our Balance Sheet Strategies and Chatham Investment Advisors, a registered investment advisor, offering our “VirtualTreasurer” service. Prior to joining Chatham, Dave spent 14 years with Ernst & Young serving financial services clients in the US and abroad. He then began his banking career as Treasurer and Chief Investment Officer at a $5 billion bank, and then served as Treasurer and Chief Investment Officer of a $3 billion bank. He graduated from the Pennsylvania State University with a BS in Accounting with Honor and with Distinction. Dave is a CPA and holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation. 

Benjamin M. Lewis
Director, Business Development, Financial Institutions, Chatham Financial
Ben is the Director of Business Development for Chatham’s Financial Institutions team.  Prior to joining Chatham, he served eight years in the U.S. Navy as a P-3C Orion Naval Flight Officer. Ben graduated with distinction from the United States Naval Academy with a BS in Economics and is a CFA Charter holder. Ben serves on the Colorado regional board of HOPE International, a faith-based microfinance institution.

Jim Cunningham 
Associate Professor of Clinical Finance and Business Economics at the Marshall School at University of Southern California
Jim has taught in the undergraduate, Full-time MBA, MBA.PM, and EMBA programs at Marshall since 2008. He received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Chicago, and his MBA from the Booth Graduate School of Business at the University of Chicago. He has worked at banks in Phoenix and Chicago. He has presented research at the convention of the American Economics Association, and does research in public finance and macroeconomics. He received the Golden Apple teaching award at USC.

Rick VanDermyden
Leadership & Personal Development Trainer with The John Maxwell Company
Rick is driven by a relentless passion for personal growth and leadership development. His leadership development practice is focused on transforming individuals, small businesses, and corporations to their highest level of leadership. With well over a decade of coaching, training, and most-importantly, real-world business experience in mortgage banking with Wells Fargo Bank, and currently as the Operating Partner of a Real Estate franchise. Rick teaches and applies the mindset, principles, and strategies that will take your life and business to the next level.

Joshua S. Siegel
Managing Partner and CEO, StoneCastle Partners, LLC Chairman and CEO, StoneCastle Financial Corp.
Joshua Siegel is managing partner and Chief Executive Officer at StoneCastle Partners, LLC, a national alternative asset manager with more than $8 billion in assets under management. Founded by Mr. Siegel, StoneCastle has grown into one of the world’s largest and most successful investors. He is widely regarded as a leading expert and investor in the community banking industry, speaks frequently at industry events, is regularly invited to educate government regulators and has served as Adjunct Professor at the Columbia Business School. Previously, Joshua was a co-founder and Vice President of the Global Portfolio Solutions Group at Salomon Brothers/Citigroup Global Markets. Joshua received his BS in Management and Accounting from Tulane University.

Michael Blanchard
CEO, Blanchard Consulting Group
Mr. Michael Blanchard is the CEO of Blanchard Consulting Group. He has extensive experience in the human resources field and has conducted or supported over 500 compensation planning projects over the past seventeen years, with over thirteen years specific to the banking industry.  With a masters degree in advanced industrial and organizational psychology, Mr. Blanchard’s experience includes advising clients on assessing total compensation, incentive planning, and performance appraisals.

Eric Johnsen
Executive Benefits and BOLI consultant, Equias Alliance
Eric Johnsen is Executive Benefits and BOLI consultant with Equias Alliance in the Monterey, CA office.  He specializes in the design, implementation, administration and ongoing evaluation of nonqualified executive benefit plans and BOLI programs. Mr. Johnsen is a frequent speaker with the CBA and WIB regarding executive and director benefit plans and the strategic use of BOLI to help finance benefit plans.

He brings over 20 years of experience in working with senior executives and Board members for numerous industries in the areas of insurance, banking, business and strategic planning. Eric began his consulting career with Ernst & Young assisting clients in financial accounting and systems design and implementation.

Mr. Johnsen graduated from UC Davis  with a bachelor’s degree in health care administration, a Masters Divinity from Fuller Seminary and an MBA in Finance and Entrepreneurship from the University of Southern California.

Ryan Hayhurst
Managing Director, The Baker Group
Ryan W. Hayhurst joined The Baker Group in 1991 and is now a managing director and member of the board of directors. Ryan serves as Manager of the Financial Strategies Group and oversees the design and implementation of investment and asset/liability strategies for financial institutions. He is also integrally involved in the continued development of the firm’s proprietary software designed to assist clients in the management of their investment portfolio and their overall interest rate risk profile. Ryan regularly develops and presents educational seminars nationwide with a focus on investment and interest rate risk management. He is a frequent speaker at financial institution conventions and investment conferences and has served as a faculty member of several national and regional banking schools.


  • Chief executive officers
  • Chief financial officers
  • Chief administrative officers
  • Chief operating officers
  • Presidents and other senior managers
  • Controllers, treasurers, cashiers, finance, audit, accounting managers and financial analysts
  • Bank directors and ALCO teams

Registration Information

Registration Fees

Early-Bird Registration extended through Friday March 20, 2015
CBA Member: $395
Non-Member: $595

Regular Registration 
CBA Member: $495
Non-Member: $695

Cancellation Policy

Substitutions are allowed, at no additional cost. Written notice is required for all substitutions/cancellations. The full registration fee will be refunded if written notice is received by March 13, 2015, and 50 percent if by March 20. No refunds will be provided after March 20. Registrations made on or after March 20 are not subject to refund.

If you are not completely satisfied with this program, please contact Corbett Cutts, VP, director of education at (916) 438-4428.

Location Information

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Irvine Marriott
18000 Von Karman Avenue
Irvine, CA 92612 
(949) 553-0100

A room block has been arranged at the rate of $185/night. Please contact the hotel at (949) 553-0100  or (800) 228-9290 and reference California Bankers Association.

Please make your reservation by Wednesday, March 18, 2015.

Program Objectives

The purpose of this seminar is to share new perspectives, tools and techniques to help finance officers better run their banks. They will leave better equipped to:

  • Incorporate trends in the banking industry and impact of future interest rates
  • Describe the outlook for capital markets 
  • Discuss regulatory overview of stress testing 
  • Tips for best ways to manage interest rate risk
  • Better understand future healthcare costs
  • How to retain your margin through funding
  • Ensure their executive compensation program is competitive and meets all regulatory requirements
  • Provide updates on accounting issues
  • Create a strategic plan that is in sync with regulators

Credit Information

Program Level: Intermediate/Advanced

Prerequisite: At least three years experience as a bank financial officer

Advance Preparation: None

Method of Presentation: Group – Live (Lecture, Discussion and Table Exercises)

Recommended CPE Credits: 6.25 Hours Maximum
(Estimated 1.5 Economics, 1.5 Accounting and 3.25 Finance)
Sponsored learning activities are measured by program length, with one 50-minute period equal to one CPE credit. One-half CPE credit increments (equal to 25 minutes) are permitted after the first credit has been earned in a given learning activity. Please note that not all state boards have adopted this rule. Some participants may not be able to use one-half credit increments.